A Garden Review of 2014: Summer

The second part of my Garden Review 2014 looks at the summer months, and will hopefully make you all sigh and smile as you think back to your gardens last summer!  Do join in if you can. And thanks to those who already have. It’s wonderful therapy looking through bright and “flowerful” photos!


June: “Although it’s barely 20°C with the odd shower passing through, I still feel like summer has arrived…” were the opening words of my first post in June. It got very hot soon after, but the earlier showers had given the garden the reserves it needed to get through a short heatwave mid-June, and three very dry weeks. The Lychnis coronaria loved it!


The Lychnis filled all the driest spots where other plants just shrivel up. (Above with Campanulas and below with Linaria). In German Lychnis are Lichtnelken – Licht is light, and Nelken are carnations/pinks… very apt.


 Another resilient flower that was fabulous again this summer is the Centranthus ruber. I only cut it back a couple of weeks ago – yes at the end of November – but it was still flowering after six months! Almost all my butterfly photos are on or near the Centranthus.  In the slideshow below you can see the Hummingbird Hawk-Moth on it. The other butterfly is a Marbled White on some pink vetch.

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The day lilies were as gorgeous as ever, but I always forget just how much I love them. I remember a (non-gardening) visitor asking me once what they were, and then she said “I don’t like them”. I was speechless!


Another June favourite is the strong yellow of St John’s Wort, which brings the garden to life, and the insects love it of course.



July got off to a hot start, but with many showers the whole month was extremely humid. The Centranthus continued to attract beautiful creatures – here the Broad-bordered Bee Hawk-Moth…


And the bees loved the Echinacea. (And so did I!)

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Early August was perfect, but the heat was not to last as mid-month the tail end of hurricane Bertha swept across northern Europe. But the Centranthus and red rose, along with some Hollyhocks, continued to provide more lovely colour…

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 Signs of autumn were already there by mid-August… more of that in my final Review post next week. In the meantime I hope this brought a smile to your face, and I would love to see your garden reviews of 2014 too!


48 thoughts on “A Garden Review of 2014: Summer

  1. You make me yearn for summer, and that’s coming from a place where we still have warm days and certainly no freezing temperatures. It’s not just about climate. The summer palette has surely completely faded and the garden looks drab and needing something bright and colorful. Your photos do bring summer back and I think that although patience is still needed, it’s on my mind, too!

    • I must admit I envy you your warmth right now, but I am enjoying a break from gardening and doing lots of jobs in the house that got neglected in summer! Doing these reviews of spring and summer have made me feel far more optimistic than usual for this time of year. We just need to look for colour elsewhere for now!

  2. I love the way you presentate your summer review. With butterflies, hawk moth and moving flakes from wordpress it becomes more-dimensional. There is something in air like in real summer. 🙂

  3. Your blooms certainly put a smile on my face this cold and windy morning. I love the way your Lychnis looks in both the photographs, I think it needs planting on mass like that, I’ve been pulling mine out because it just doesn’t seem to last very long in flower and never looks like yours.

    • Thank you Brian. The butterflies were wonderful this year and I kept a butterfly diary and posted a summary at the end of each month. I even had a swallowtail caterpillar, but sadly didn’t see the actual butterfly this year!

  4. I am really enjoying your review posts Cathy, I attempted to do one, but realise I have not posted very much on my own garden that I’d want to share as a review, so for that in itself will make me reassess what I post next year. 🙂

    • There are very few plants I don’t like, so I found her comment a bit strange…. Glad the summer sunshine warmed you up. We could do with a few rays of sun here too – very cold and grey today but thankfully not icy yet.

  5. How lovely to see some wonderful summer scenes on a cold day like today. It does make you long for it to be summer again.
    By the way, I love your icy rose bud header.

  6. Glorious, and I especially love the insects and how you captured them. Wow, these colours! You know that I wonder each winter: if we’re ever going to experience anything like last summer…it sounds silly, I know, but when everything looks so dull you can’t help but wonder, no?

    • Not silly at all Annette, as I know exatly how you feel! My garden always looks dead in February still, and I just cannot believe it will ever be green again. But all that strength is under the ground just waiting for the right moment to sprout!

  7. Pingback: Summer 2014 Revisited | Country Garden UK

  8. It is lovely to see the garden in its summer glory again and it is good to be reminded of the summer when looking at the garden in winter. You have reminded me of a few plants I want to around for next summer. Amelia

  9. Lovely photos and such a good idea to review. We have a variety of St Johns Wort in Spain and surprise lilies. Look out for a blog about lilies in Ohio. Northeastohio garden, I think. Too many lilies there for your visitor.

  10. Pingback: A Garden Review of 2014: Late Summer/Autumn | Words and Herbs

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